'Prank' Facebook posts on JCPS closings stir confusion and security concern for students and parents
Have you heard the news according to Facebook posts? JCPS is closed for the rest of the week, and Valley High School is closing forever. But not really.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Have you heard the news according to Facebook posts? JCPS is closed for the rest of the week, and Valley High School is closing forever.
Yeah, it's not real news. In fact, it's all a joke. And not just a joke: it's a joke that is a real nuisance.
"They were like, 'Yeah! Valley's closing and stuff,' and I was like, 'No! I don't want it to close! I really like this school!'" said Rosanna Davis, a student.
"It's confusing to students," said Jennifer Brislin, a JCPS spokeswoman. "It's confusing to parents. It's confusing to our staff."
"We told the kids, 'Ya'll don't have school today, you can just lay down,'" said Joseph Spears, a parent.
But looks -- and Facebook posts -- can be deceiving.
"We looked up and saw elementary school buses running and we said, 'Oh my God!'" Spears said.
Spears is not the only parent fooled by the prank posts on Facebook. JCPS wants to set the record straight.
"They did look legitimate," said Brislin.
If you were to look closely at one of the posts, you can see that the headline, claiming Valley High School is closing, did not come from a credible news source, but rather Feednewz.com.
The Web site says users can create a look-a-like story and share it in just three steps.
The rumor was so hot in the halls Valley High School Tuesday, Rosanna Davis says her teachers had to talk about it in class.
"They don't know why it's up there because they didn't have any information about it," she said.
Once you click the link, it tells you it's all a joke -- but JCPS says the fallout is no laughing matter.
"If there is any question which sites are putting out accurate information, that's detrimental to our entire community -- certainly 100,000 students and their parents," Brislin said.
What you might not know is, every time you like, share, or comment on one of these types of posts, you might be putting yourself at risk. Cyber experts say these posts often put viruses on your device.
"It can cause a lot of malicious activity to happen," said Adam Keown, former FBI Cyber Crimes agent. "Not only stealing your identity, but if you're at work or a school system, or another type of facility, it can shut that entire system down."
The lesson: Don't take the clickbait.
"I was really frustrated by the post," Spears said.
And as Spears learned the hard way, you can't always believe what you see.
If you already clicked on one of these links cyber experts say you should immediately run a virus scan and update your device.
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